Alex and Tonya signed up for the Y Diabetes Prevention Program to improve their health after Alex was diagnosed with prediabetes.

Committing to living healthy is more than a choice – it’s a lifestyle.

Over the past few years, the Tampa YMCA has served dozens of members who have made a lifestyle commitment to healthy eating, physical activity and behavior modification in order to return their glucose levels to a non-diabetes range.

Husband and wife duo Alex and Tonya are among those who have had great success.  

Did You Know 

Roughly 37 million Americans – about 1 in 10 – are living with diabetes, and 1 in 5 Americans have diabetes and have yet to be diagnosed. 

To support and strengthen individuals living with diabetes, the Tampa YMCA offers the Diabetes Prevention Program. The program is a lifestyle modification initiative for individuals 18+ at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Alex and Tonya began their wellness journey after Alex’s father passed away. Alex shares, “My dad passed away when he was 65, and I didn’t want to end up in that situation.”

Tonya notes, ”I hadn't weighed myself in over 10 years – that was a big fear – getting on the scale and facing reality. I just knew the life I do live is something I want to enjoy.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program has been shown to reduce the number of cases of type 2 diabetes by 58%, and 71% in individuals over age 60. 

How the Program Works 

Participants gather in a relaxed classroom setting at a YMCA of their choosing with a trained lifestyle coach. The coach leads discussions and activities on ways participants can incorporate healthy eating and other modifications into their daily lives.

Once completing the Diabetes Prevention Program, Alex’s cholesterol numbers were back to normal, and his hypertension and pre-diabetes numbers were gone.

Tonya was hesitant about joining the program, but now she says “it's something we can continue to do. I’m just eating the right foods and exercising – we're just being healthier.” 

Facts About Type 2 Diabetes

  • Prediabetes means a person has elevated blood glucose levels but not high enough levels to be diabetic. 
  • Individuals with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are at an increased risk for developing heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions. 
  • People who are overweight, inactive and over the age of 45 are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 
  • Type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness and kidney failure. 
  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for 17% of deaths in adults over age 25. 
  • Research has shown that modest weight loss and regular physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in adults. 
  • Losing just 5 to 7% body weight has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes by 58%. 

You can take the prediabetes test today to find out if you’re at risk for developing diabetes.

Additionally, you can register for an upcoming Diabetes Prevention Program session by speaking with a Welcome Center representative at your YMCA today!

Published Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022